It’s really important to do regular health checks with your body so you get to know your body and are aware if anything changes that doesn’t feel right.
The Vulva and the Vagina
- Knowing your vulva in look, shape, size and feel is really important so it’s easy to spot any changes in appearance or discharge.
- Professionals suggest to check your vulva once a month in between periods, checking around the same day each month.
- Find a private and comfortable space you won’t be disturbed. You will need somewhere with good light and have a handheld mirror.
- Check the area where the pubic hair grows. Checking for any bumps, rashes, spots, or moles.
- Finding the clitoris look for any discolouration, bumps, or growths. Doing the same for the labia majora (outer lips) and labia minora (inner lips). Also check the opening of the vagina, opening of the urethra and perineum for any lumps, bumps, growth, or rashes.
If you notice any changes in shape, size, colour, unusual discharge, blisters, sores, itching or swelling speak to your GP or healthcare professional for a further check-up and to prevent infections.
The Penis and The Testicles
During puberty there are lots of ways the testicles and penis change which is normal and natural. The penis and testes can have bumps and lumps which are harmless and a build-up of keratin (enlarged oil glands). Another reason for sores or lumps and bumps can be at STI, skin condition, poor hygiene, or some cases cancer.
Examining for any changes with your penis and testicles:
- The best time to examine your penis and testicles is when in the bath or shower, as the heat relaxes the skin of the scotum.
- To examin your testicles hold your penis out of the way.
- Support your scrotum in the palm of your hand, this will help you to become familiar with the size and weight.
- Examine one testicle at a time using both hands.
- Gently roll a testicle between your thumb and fingers, your testicles should feel smooth so check for any lumps, swellings or bumps.
- If you see or feel a pea-sized lump contact your doctor. It’s probably nothing to worry about, but it’s important to get it checked.
- Check for any changes in the size, shape, or feel of your testicles.
If you notice something that doesn’t feel right or if you have any pain, discomfort, discharge or smell then contact your GP for a check-up.